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Ernie Els closer than ever to World No. 1 spot

Ernie Els lost a little ground in the world ranking with his tie for 29th in the International, but he is closer than ever to replacing Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the world.

In the previous two majors, Els needed at least a victory to end Woods’ five-year reign at the top. Going into the PGA Championship, the Big Easy can overtake him by finishing second.

Here’s the scenario for Els to move to No. 1:

  1. He wins, and Woods finishes in a three-way tie for second.
  2. He finishes second alone, and Woods finishes 16th alone.
  3. He finishes in a two-way tie for second, Woods misses the cut and Vijay Singh does not win.

Singh, who challenged Woods earlier in the year before slipping to No. 3, has a chance to move to No. 1 if the Fijian wins the PGA, Woods misses the cut and Els is not the sole runner-up.

Woods tied Greg Norman’s record Monday when he was No. 1 for the 331st week. He can break the record by holding down the No. 1 spot this week.

This is the five-year anniversary of the last time someone other than Woods was atop the world ranking. David Duval was No. 1 going into the 1999 PGA Championship, where Woods won to end an 0-for-10 drought in the majors.

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